Psychometric testing

Reducing the cost of training and inducting new recruits

In the February issue of LG Focus, Steven Dahl* explored the bottom line benefits of using online cognitive ability testing to recruit the best job applicants. In this issue, Steven looks at how testing can reduce the cost of training and inducting new recruits.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian public sector spends $1.6 billion each year on training its employees, investing an average of $264 and 6.3 training hours per employee. This is significantly more than the private sector’s $161 and 4.5 hours per employee respectively**.

That’s a lot of time and money spent on seminars, conferences and on the job training, in hope of a reasonable return on investment when employees get down to work. It’s a fact that some people learn faster, retain more information, and apply their knowledge better in the workplace than others.

Research has shown that people with higher levels of cognitive ability tend to acquire more job knowledge and apply it more rapidly. Assessing cognitive ability during the recruitment process can help identify these candidates, and significantly reduce the costs of their training and induction – in some cases by around one quarter.

Vocational preference tests, which are linked to potential job satisfaction, are also helpful in identifying employees who are likely to prefer the types of work associated with a given position.

Improving job fit over time translates into better rates of staff retention and ultimately a better return on every training and induction dollar spent. Onetest has assisted many clients to reduce or maximise their training budgets by applying cognitive ability testing when recruiting new talent.

An excellent example is Onetest client FAI Home Security, which recently experienced fast, measurable benefits from cognitive ability testing when training new staff recruited using Onetest’s online assessments.

“After just one day of training, our trainer exclaimed that this group was ‘different’ and asked how I had managed to select such ‘bright’ people,” said Jacqui Beer, from Human Resources at FAI Home Security. “He found them very easy to train – among the fastest learners he had come across – and suggested we reduce the length of the induction program by up to 25 percent. That’s a significant cost saving achieved by recruiting better performers, and I’m sure it will also translate into improved workplace productivity.”

Whether you’re in home security or Local Government, training clerical staff or managers, investing in fast, reliable and affordable assessment strategies to select the best candidates provides great opportunities to boost the return on your investment in training and induction programs.

** Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2000. Australian Social Trends 1998. Education - Education At Work: Workplace Training

*Steven Dahl is founder and managing director of Onetest Pty Ltd, an Australian company that provides online candidate screening and assessment services worldwide. Contact Onetest on 1300 137 937 or visit